United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
DOMINIC RICKETT, No. 23439-045,
USA, UNITED STATES DEPT. of JUSTICE, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL T.G. WERLICH, and UNKNOWN PARTY, Respondents.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Dominic Rickett, a federal prisoner currently incarcerated at
the FCI-Greenville, brings this habeas corpus action pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 to challenge the constitutionality
of his confinement. He asserts that in light of Rehaif v.
United States, __ U.S. __, 139 S.Ct. 2191 (June 21,
2019), his conviction and sentence under 18 U.S.C. §
922(g)(1) and 18 U.S.C. § 924(a)(2) should be vacated.
(Doc. 1, p. 7).
case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the
Petition pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section
2254 Cases in United States District Courts. Rule 4 provides
that upon preliminary consideration by the district court
judge, “[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and
any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to
relief in the district court, the judge must dismiss the
petition and direct the clerk to notify the
was convicted upon a plea of guilty in the Western District
of Missouri (Case No. 11-cr-181-W-DW). (Doc. 1, pp. 17-27).
Petitioner claims that in his case, the Government failed to
prove that he knew that he belonged to the category of
persons who were prohibited from possessing ammunition, at
the time he possessed ammunition.
Rehaif, the Supreme Court held that:
[I]n a prosecution under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) and §
924(a)(2), the Government must prove both that the defendant
knew he possessed a firearm and that he knew he belonged to
the relevant category of persons barred from possessing a
firearm. We express no view, however, about what precisely
the Government must prove to establish a defendant's
knowledge of status in respect to other § 922(g)
provisions not at issue here.
Rehaif v. United States, 139 S.Ct. 2191, 2200 (2019)
(defendant's conviction for illegal possession of firearm
and ammunition was based on his status of being illegally or
unlawfully in the United States; reversing/remanding because
the Government had not been required to prove at trial that
defendant knew he was unlawfully in the country).
the limited record and the still-developing application of
Rehaif, it is not plainly apparent that Petitioner
is not entitled to habeas relief. Without commenting on the
merits of the claims, the Court concludes that the Petition
survives preliminary review under Rule 4 and Rule 1(b) of the
Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in United States District
Courts, and a response shall be ordered.
has identified a number of individuals as Respondents. As the
proper respondent is T.G. Welch, the warden at Greenville,
the Clerk is DIRECTED to
TERMINATE from the docket USA, United States
Department of Justice, United States Attorney General, and
IS HEREBY ORDERED that Respondent shall answer or
otherwise plead within thirty days of the date this order is
entered (on or before December 20,
2019). This preliminary order to respond does
not, of course, preclude the Government from raising any
objection or defense it may wish to present. Service upon the
United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois,
750 Missouri Avenue, East St. Louis, Illinois, shall
constitute sufficient service.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that this entire matter be
REFERRED to a United States Magistrate Judge
for disposition, as contemplated by Local Rule 72.2(b)(2) and
28 U.S.C. § 636(c), should all the parties consent
to such a referral.
is ADVISED of his continuing obligation to
keep the Clerk (and the Respondent) informed of any change in
his whereabouts during the pendency of this action. This
notification shall be done in writing and not later than
seven (7) days after a transfer or other change in address
occurs. Failure to provide such notice may result in
dismissal of this action. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b).